Friday, 25 June 2010

Peter Allen - I Could Have Been A Sailor

I Could Have Been A Sailor/Don't Wish To Hard/Two Boys/Angels With Dirty Faces/Don't Cry Out Loud/If You Were Wondering/Don't Leave Me Now/I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love/We've Come To An Understanding/Paris At 21

Peter Allen (10 February 1944 – 18 June 1992) was an Australian songwriter and entertainer. His songs were made popular by many recording artists, including Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton-John, Elkie Brooks, and one, Arthur's Theme, won the Academy Award. In addition to recording many albums, he enjoyed a cabaret and concert career, including appearing at Radio City Music Hall riding a camel. He married Liza Minnelli but this ended in divorce .He was born Peter Richard Woolnough in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. Allen began his performing career with Chris Bell as one of the "Allen Brothers", who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s in Australia.

Allen commenced releasing solo recordings in 1971, but throughout his career achieved greater success through his songs being recorded by others. He wrote "Don't Cry Out Loud," recorded by Melissa Manchester, and "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love," recorded by Rita Coolidge. One of his signature songs, "I Go to Rio," was a moderate hit in America for the group Pablo Cruise. Allen scored his biggest success with the song "I Honestly Love You," which he co-wrote with Jeff Barry and which became a major hit in 1974 for Olivia Newton-John. Her single reached number one in the United States and in Canada and won two Grammy Awards, for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Newton-John.

In 1976, Allen released an album Taught By Experts, which reached number one in Australia, along with the number one singles "I Go To Rio" and "The More I See You". Although his recording career in the U.S. never progressed, he performed in Atlantic City and Carnegie Hall. He had three extended sold out engagements at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where he became the first male dancer to dance with the Rockettes and rode a camel during "I Go to Rio."

His most successful album was Bi-Coastal, (1980) produced by David Foster and featuring the top hit "Fly Away," which, in 1981, became his only U.S. chart single, reaching #55 on the Billboard Hot 100.

He co-wrote the song "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Christopher Cross, for Minnelli's 1981 movie Arthur. The song reached number one in the U.S., and the songwriters won an Academy Award for Best Song. He actually wrote one line for the whole song: "When you get caught between the moon and New York City" from an earlier song that he and Bayer Sager co-wrote. He and Bayer Sager also co-wrote "You and Me (We Wanted It All)" which was recorded by Frank Sinatra. A video of Sinatra singing the song at Carnegie Hall was included as part of the Sinatra: New York cd/dvd package, released in late 2009.

Allen performed on Australian Television at many important occasions: in front of Queen Elizabeth II in 1980 at the Sydney Opera House, before Prince Charles and Princess Diana, once in Melbourne and again in Sydney, at the opening of the Sydney Entertainment Centre, where he unveiled for the first time his Australia "Flag" shirt, and the 1980 Australian Rules Grand Final in Melbourne. His "Up In One Concert" of 1980 was a huge ratings success across the country. When Australia won The America's Cup, he flew to Perth to sing before an audience of 100,000. In 1988 he opened for Frank Sinatra at Sanctuary Cove, Queensland. In America he appeared at the 30th Anniversary of Disneyland. He returned to recording on Arista with an album entitled "Not the Boy Next Door" (1983).

In 1990 he recorded his final album on RCA, Making Every Moment Count, which featured Melissa Manchester and Harry Connick Jr. One of his songs, I Still Call Australia Home, became popular through its use in television commercials, initially for National Panasonic, and then after 1988 for Qantas Airlines.This has since become an unofficial anthem for Australians abroad.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Warren Williams - Just Like A Child

Just Like A Child/Where My Baby Goes (She Goes With Me)

Born in Sydney on April the 5th, 1940. The fourth son of five sons to Helena and John Williams he grew up in Matraville in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. His mother Helena was a well known classical piano and music teacher and from a young age taught all of her sons to sing.
From the age of four Warren competed in the Sydney Eisteddfod and won many gold medals as a boy Soprano. During his high school years at Randwick Boys High School he was the lead vocalist in many school musicals. It was then that Warren decided that he wanted to pursue a career as an Opera singer. This ambition was soon to change when in 1956 as a 16 year old, Warren went to see the movie “Blackboard Jungle” which featured the song “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. From that moment on he decided that he wanted to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll singer. He immediately bought himself a guitar and with a group of friends formed his first band called “The Squares”. They began to play at local youth halls and got their first regular dance at the Mascot Masonic Hall. Here hundreds of teenagers would come to watch The Squares play every Friday night. It was at this time that Rock ‘n’ Roll exploded into the Australia and dancing had become a favourite pastime for local teenagers.
In June of 1957 his solo career was launched when the King of Australian Rock 'n' Roll, Johnny O’Keefe came to Mascot to see him perform. O’Keefe was so impressed by what he saw that he offered the Warren an appearance on his television show “Six O’clock Rock”. On July 4 this performance made the young singer an immediate success. He was soon offered a recording contract with Australia’s leading record company Festival Records, and under the guidance of O’Keefe recorded his first hit record, the self-written “Where My Baby Goes” which shot to the top of the charts in late October 1957. O’Keefe soon discovered Warren’s classical training and came up with the concept for him to record famous classical songs in a pop style. A string of hits followed including “A Star Fell from Heaven” and “Girls Where Made to Love and Kiss”, both of which became top ten hits in the national charts. He followed these records with another self written song called “Just like a Child”. Throughout the late 1950’s and early 1960’s he toured the country with some of America’s biggest recording stars of the time including Little Richard, Fabian, and Jerry Lee Lewis. He appeared regularly at the Sydney Stadium and featured in a huge concert to 100,000 people and Sydney’s Hyde Park. During the 1960’s he was a regular on national television shows including Australia’s most popular show of the time “Bandstand”.
Throughout his life Warren has continued to perform in the music industry and and has donated his services to numerous charity events.
In 1985 he was rewarded with the release of an Album of his recordings to commemorate his work with Festival Records as a part of a collection known as “The Festival Files”. Then in 1995 he was honoured with a special display celebrating his contribution to Australian music at the Power House Museum in Sydney. He has also been nominated for seven Australian entertainment industry “Mo Awards”. Today Warren Williams continues to perform and is recognised for his life long achievements in music.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Judy Stone - Favourites

We Two Will Love/Mare Mare Mare/ I Am Only A Woman/ Where Are The Clowns/ Take Me Home Country Roads/ Day By Day/Would You Lay With Me In A Field Of Stone/The Traveller/Everybody's Reachin' Out For Someone/Until It's Time For You To Go/Welcome Home

Not necessarily a Best Of more as the title suggests her favourites released in 1975, the majority of these tunes are from her two albums "Pure Stone" 1971 and "In A Field Of Stone" 1974 but there are two tracks on here not on those albums "We Two Will Love" and "Where Are The Clowns" these were singles released in 1975.

Young Talent Time - The Young Talent Team

Young Talent Time was an Australian television variety program screened on Network Ten, running from 1971 until 1988. The series featured a core group of young performers and a weekly junior talent quest. The Young Talent Team regularly performed popular classics along with the top hit songs of the day. The program was the creation of host Johnny Young and launched the careers of a number of Australian performers including Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue.
Young Talent Time was produced by Lewis-Young Productions (the production partnership between host Johnny Young and his friend and colleague Kevin Lewis) and was taped mainly at the studios of ATV-10 in Nunawading, Melbourne although occasional shows were taped at the TEN-10 studios in Sydney or on location. One memorable aspect of the show was the regular closing number, where Johnny Young would croon the Beatles' song "All My Loving" (with which he had an Australian hit in the 1960s), accompanied by the entire cast, in an almost lullaby style, individually wishing all of the cast good night.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Liv Maessen - Snow Bird

Snow Bird/Are You Going My Way

Melbourne singer Liv Maessen started her career in 1969 when she appeared on the popular TV talent quest New Faces where she took out second place in the series final, for which she won a recording contract with Ron Tudor's independent production company June Productions. Her first single was "The Love Moth". Released on the Polydor label in Dec. 1969, it scraped into the bottom end of the national Top 40 in April 1970, peaking at #39. Liv's second single, issued in April 1970, was a cover version of Mary Hopkin's Eurovision entry and UK hit "Knock, Knock, Who's There?". Liv's version quickly shot to the top of the Aussie charts. It became her most successful recording and one of the biggest Australian singles of the year -- it peaked at #2 nationally in June, stayed on the chart for an extraordinary 23 weeks and earned Liv the unique distinction of being the first Australian female singer ever to be awarded a Gold Record, for sales of over 50,000 copies. For her third single Liv recorded a fine rendition of Anne Murray's US hit "Snowbird" (Aug. 1970). It made the national Top 20, but this proved to be her last chart hit.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Mondo Rock - State Of The Heart

State Of The Heart/Mona Lisa (She Smiles)

Mondo Rock are a rock band from Melbourne, Australia, most prominent in the early 1980s. The band was formed in late 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Ross Wilson. Mondo Rock rapidly became one of the most successful Australian chart acts of the period, scoring four consecutive Top 5 albums and a string of Top 40 singles—including three Top 10 hits—between 1980 and 1985. Mondo Rock's first major hit, "State of the Heart" (Oct. 1980), peaked at #6 on the national chart the B-Side "Mona Lisa (She Smiles) is a non album track.

Lucky Star - Blow Up Your TV

Blow Up Your TV/Give Me Wheels

Leslie Morrison (born 29 December 1940), better known by his stage name Lucky Starr, is an Australian singer. He released the tongue-twisting, "I've Been Everywhere" as a single in 1962, written by singer-songwriter Geoff Mack, which name drops numerous Australian towns. He began his rock 'n' roll career in 1957 as lead singer of The Hepparays. He was a regular on Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock, and took over from Johnny O'Keefe as host of the latter for a season in 1960.

This single was released in 1973 and was produced by Digby Richards who also penned the B-Side. Lucky started out as a Rock 'n' Roller but these days sings Country a genre which many of his contempories have turned to.

Digby and Lucky